07/11/2011 12:13PM

Susan Salmon Donaldson, of Mereworth Farm, dead

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Susan Salmon Donaldson, owner of Mereworth Farm in Lexington, died July 8 there, according to Sunday’s Lexington Herald-Leader. She was 77.

Donaldson was the granddaughter of Mereworth’s founder, New York real estate businessman Walter J. Salmon, who established the nursery in 1919. The elder Salmon bred and raced such horses as 1926 Preakness winner Display and 1935 Grand National winner Battleship, among others, and also sold Alfred G. Vanderbilt the 2-year-old crop that included the eventual 1935 Horse of the Year, Discovery. His son, Walter Jr., bred Grade 1 winner Palace Music and ran the farm from 1953 until his death in 1986, when Susan Salmon Donaldson took over the operation.

Susan Salmon Donaldson bought back a number of the Mereworth mares during the farm’s 1986 dispersal at Fasig-Tipton. The 1,200-acre farm went on to breed such graded winners as Double Honor, Prophet’s Warning, Three Fanfares, and others from a band of about 45 mares.

Funeral arrangements were pending.